Take Control of Your Health: 7 Steps to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Steven F. Hotze, MD Hotze Health & Wellness Center

Steven F. Hotze, MD
Hotze Health & Wellness Center

October is breast cancer awareness month. During this time, pink ribbons are displayed on all types of merchandise from water bottles to appliances. Races and fundraisers unite survivors and loved ones together with a common goal: finding a cure. Americans have become more aware of breast cancer.  Sadly, many know this firsthand, whether it has been a personal journey or one where you walked beside a mother, sister, daughter or friend.

While we applaud the efforts of heightening breast cancer awareness and finding a cure, it is also important to focus on breast cancer prevention. In support of women who have battled and continue to fight this disease, let us also do our part in raising awareness of breast cancer prevention so that millions of women will not have to depend on finding a cure.

Important Steps to Help Prevent Breast Cancer:

• Hormone Balance – As progesterone levels begin to decline in a woman’s 30s, bioidentical progesterone can be vital in breast cancer prevention. A 20 year study by Johns Hopkins published in 1981 in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that women with adequate progesterone levels had less than a fifth of the incidence of breast cancer and less than a tenth of all cancers compared to women low in progesterone. These outcomes suggest that having a normal level of progesterone protected women from nine-tenths of all cancers that might have otherwise occurred.

• Vitamin D – Ensure that your vitamin D levels are optimal by asking your physician to check your 25 hydroxy vitamin D level. Vitamin D has been shown to decrease risk up to 70 percent.

• Healthy Diet – Be sure to eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, and cut out sugar and alcohol as much as possible. Sugar weakens the immune system and feeds cancer cells.

• Exercise – Treat exercise with the same level of importance as any other appointment on your calendar. If you are new to exercising, be sure to pace yourself to keep from becoming discouraged or injured. Walking three to five times per week for 20-45 minutes is a good place to start.

Things to Avoid:

• Birth Control Pills – A woman who is not ovulating doesn’t produce progesterone in her ovaries, thus causing estrogen dominance and increasing the risk for breast cancer.

• Synthetic Hormones – There is a significant difference between bioidentical and synthetic hormones. Bioidentical hormones are an identical molecular match to the hormones produced by your body. On the contrary, synthetic hormones’ molecular structure has been changed so the so-called hormones are actually foreign chemicals to your body, which can cause a host of side effects.

• Xenoestrogens – These foreign estrogens are found in pesticides, insecticides, preservatives, toxins found in cosmetics and personal care products. Xenoestrogens also seep into food from plastics when we heat our food in plastic containers or drink from plastic water bottles that have been left in the heat during shipping. A huge step in the right direction for avoiding xenoestrogens is by only drinking out of glass or stainless water bottles, which are BPA-free.